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Overcoming the Negative Bias

Updated: Aug 10






Key words and phrases:

Elapsed: pass by (as in time)

Respite: a short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant

Negative bias: leaning in a negative direction, not neutral

Reinforce: support or strengthen

Keep up with: follow, maintain a certain level of knowledge on a subject

Tap into: to access a resource or market

Strike a balance: compromise, choose as moderate course

Quite frankly: directly speaking

Compounded by: intensify the negative aspects of something



Another month has elapsed and now we are in the peak of summer. For those who know me, you know that Tokyo summer is always a challenge for me. Not only because of the extreme daytime temperatures, but also due to the fact that nighttime offers little respite from the heat.


In my early years in Japan, I would spend a lot of time and energy complaining about the heat. And, obviously, that did nothing to change the situation. In fact, complaining about anything that we cannot change it truly a waste of time. Complaining comes easy to people because it feeds into the negative bias of the brain that we have talked about in previous installments. So, is there anything that we can do to overcome this negative bias?


The short answer is “yes;” the question is “How?” Well, this is something that requires constant effort, but it is something that can be enjoyable, even fun! The best way to overcome the negative bias of the brain is to reinforce the positives. What does that mean? Get close to the things and people that bring the most joy to your life. That could be friends, family, nature, exercise, music, reading, or whatever makes you feel good. Most likely, it will not be one thing but rather a combination of all the things that you enjoy.


Sure, we still like to keep up with the news and what is going on in the world, but be aware of the fact that the media industry is a business and that means that it is focused on shareholders and profits. In order to maximize sales, the media needs to tap into the human’s negative bias. That is not to say the media is bad, just that as consumers of media content we need to strike a balance between what is needed, and, quite frankly, what is not.


Especially in the current world of uncertainty, compounded by the fear of what is going on with the pandemic, we need to make sure that we are taking care of not only our physical health but equally important is our mental health. So, take some time today to think about the things that bring pleasure to your life, to your spirit, and do them.


Wishing you health and happiness, always.


Mark Tofflemire

Tailor Made Inc.

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